Defenses to DUI Charges
Many people facing DUI charges in Connecticut mistakenly believe that they should just plead guilty, accept their punishment, and get on with their life. They do not realize that it is possible to beat a DUI charge and that a lawyer can work to reduce the charges or even have the case dropped with proper DUI defense.
If you are facing DUI charges in Connecticut, there may be ways to challenge the basis for your arrest, whether the police officer properly performed the Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs), and the accuracy of the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) test results.
At The Lebedevitch Law Firm, LLC, Connecticut DUI defense attorney Stephen Lebedevitch will thoroughly investigate the charges against you and fight to help you avoid the fines, penalties, and possible jail time that can come with a DUI conviction. Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, he will try to have the case against you dismissed, negotiate a plea for a lesser offense, or work to reduce the severity of the penalties that can be imposed after a Connecticut DUI conviction.
Challenging the Circumstances of Your Arrest
A successful defense against a Connecticut DUI charge begins with a careful analysis of the circumstances that led to your arrest. Before the police can lawfully stop you, they must have probable cause to believe you violated a law. If the police did not have probable cause to initiate a traffic stop, any evidence obtained after the stop cannot be considered by the court. Without this evidence, the prosecutor may have little choice but to dismiss the charges or agree to a drastically reduced plea.
To establish probable cause, the police officer must have had a reasonable suspicion to believe you committed a crime. In DUI cases, this is often a question of how you were driving. Examples of probable cause to initiate a traffic stop include speeding, weaving, driving left of center, running a red light or a stop sign, hesitation going through a green light, or even having a burnt-out headlight or tail light. These are all minor infractions, but they are enough to establish probable cause that you violated a law.
When the police officer questioned you, they were looking for signs that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These may include an “odor of alcohol” or other drugs, bloodshot or glassy eyes, general confusion, loss of balance or coordination, slurred speech, or problems with fine motor skills, to name just a few.
Analyzing the Field Sobriety Tests
If the police had a reasonable suspicion to believe you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they likely asked you to perform Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs). These usually include some combination of walking a straight line, reciting the alphabet, the horizontal nystagmus gaze test, the walk and turn test, or having you stand on one leg.
These “tests” are designed to give the officer evidence to show that you were intoxicated. The police officer will give you instructions. If you have difficulty completing the task, the officer will note that you were unable to complete the test as explained and will use this fact as evidence of your alleged intoxication.
However, an experienced DUI defense attorney can challenge the manner and circumstances under which the tests were administered. If this challenge is successful and the results of your performance on the FSTs are excluded from consideration, the prosecutor will have a more difficult time securing a conviction and will be more likely to agree to a plea for a lesser offense.
Questioning the Results of the BAC Test
You were also likely asked to submit to a test of your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). In Connecticut, an adult is legally intoxicated with a BAC of .08% or higher. The threshold is lower for people who hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) while operating a commercial vehicle, and for people who are under age 21. A driver’s BAC can be tested using a sample of your breath, urine, or blood. If your lawyer can successfully challenge the accuracy of the BAC test results, the evidence may be excluded from trial and make it more difficult for the prosecutor to secure a conviction.
To challenge the results of the BAC test, DUI defense attorney Stephen Lebedevitch will evaluate whether the test was properly administered, whether the machine was properly calibrated and maintained, how the sample was stored prior to testing, and any errors in the machine log. He will also force the prosecutor to prove chain of custody (i.e., that the sample tested was actually the sample taken from you), and analyze whether anything in your medical history could invalidate the test results.
Contact The Lebedevitch Law Firm for Aggressive DUI Defense
The penalties for a Connecticut DUI conviction are severe. For a first-time offense, you face up to 6 months in jail with a mandatory 2-day minimum period of incarceration, a fine of up to $1,000, and probation, plus the temporary suspension of your driver’s license. But conviction is not guaranteed. Improve your chances of beating a Connecticut DUI charge by hiring The Lebedevitch Law Firm.
The Lebedevitch Law Firm has successfully represented people who have admitted that they have consumed alcohol, had an open container in their vehicle, or were involved in serious motor vehicle accidents.
Stephen has extensive experience defending people who have been charged with DUI. In fact, when other lawyers have questions about DUI defense, they often contact Stephen for answers. To put Stephen’s experience to work for you, contact The Lebedevitch Law Firm today.
The Lebedevitch Law Firm proudly handles DUI defense throughout Stamford, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Darien, Rowayton, Fairfield, Trumbull, Westport, Wilton, Weston, Danbury, New Haven, Bethany, Woodbridge, Milford, Stratford, Bridgeport, and all throughout the State of Connecticut. We offer predictable flat fees in DUI defense cases.